Paddington Bear Hunt
At Christmas 2014, more than 50 Paddington Bear Statues appeared around London in order to raise money for the NSPCC . The official “50” formed a trail round London whilst extras appeared in the most unexpected places.
Most of the pictures are on a series of slide shows. To stop on a picture move the mouse to that picture; to go backwards, click on the arrow that appears close to the left when you move the mouse over this area..
Paddington at Paddington
A number of the Paddington’s were grouped into a trail round parts of London. As a starting point, there could be none better then where Paddington gained his name – Paddington Station.
The Paddington Trail includes places rarely visited including the area known as Little Venice – the end of the Grand Union Canal in central London. This trail is a fairly compact trail without the pressure of the crowds in other parts of London.
Paddington At the Shops
On this trail there are at least two extra Paddington’s to be found. When trying to find Paddington in Trafalgar Square, think about what Boris is doing and you will find him!
Paddington at Heathrow
On the Heathrow Express to visit Bear Grylls – our Chief Scout
After inspecting Bear Grylls Paddington statute, it was on into London by tube.
Central London and Theatre Land
We went on from Heathrow with a trail that included Christie’s (where they are auctioning the Paddington’s to raise money for the NSPCC). Last week on the 10th December, over £460,000 was raised for NSPCC at the first auction with just 19 “Paddington’s” up for sale that night. When we reached Christie’s the door was closed but paw prints led to it – could this be a a clue? Following the paw trail, the door was opened as we approached with Paddington inside.
From Christie’s we went on to theatre land ending up in Covent Garden. On the way we saw some decorated bus models and learned that 2014 was the year of the bus – good thing we started our travels today on a bus.
On into the City
Was there really a need to call the underground station “Bank” – after all we know it is banker land without the need for advertising. At the weekend, this busy area is nearly deserted. This part of the trip finished at the north bank of the Thames.
South Bank to London Bridge
Crossing over the Thames on the Millennium Bridge, we reach a Christmas Market on the south bank. Look carefully at the bridge and you will see it is a suspension bridge without the high towers found on other suspension bridges around London. We continue our travels to find another market under a BIG railway bridge that is there all the year. Our last Paddington of the day is watching over the entrance to the Shard.
More Paddington’s in London
Another trip up to London to see some of the more elusive Paddington’s. We had planned a brilliant route but National Rail made life difficult by closing a lot of lines. Just to be helpful, TfL joined the club and closed lines that could have been used instead then had an “unplanned” closure on a line that was supposed to be running . Meant we were re-planning as we went. In the end we got to all the planned main locations and found two new statutes that had been added to the trail but had to skip some a little way out from the centre of London.
Our day started at Victoria Station with a bus to Sloane Square then continued onto Fulham Broadway. We had planned to use the tube back to Notting Hill Gate but that was closed so onto a bus to Knightsbridge (where there were TWO NEW Paddington’s).
It was cold, so we stopped for hot drinks with a view of THE POSH SHOP!
I spied a hot chocolate with cream on top and got one for my ADC.
From Knightsbridge, a dash across London to the British Museum with the intention of using the Central Line to reach Notting Hill Gate afterwards but TfL closed the Central Line. A replan was necessary and off we go to Kings Cross and back to Paddington (another station with no mainline trains) in order to catch a bus to Notting Hill Gate.
Things then start going closer to plan as we can use buses to
travel the route back to Bond Street (stopping off to find another Paddington in Kensington Gardens).
On to Berkeley Square to find the Posh Car Paddington. Watch in amazement as the boot on a RR silently closes shut with the touch of a button, then onto Green Park for footballing Paddington near Buckingham Palace – not Beck’s place.
Finally we cross over to Whitehall to see the little cluster of Paddingtons there, finishing up with the newspaper Paddington in Parliament Square then a bus back to Victoria for the train home (yes Network Rail did let trains run from here back to Sutton).
By using good Scouting skills, this trip overcame all the difficulties encountered by advance planning, observation (where buses were going to), being aware of areas of London, reading maps and being prepared to change our plan where necessary.
The End of Great Hunt
We saw most of the Paddington’s but some we ran out of time to reach, due to all the transport problems thrown at us and the location of others.
However we saw parts of London most would normally miss. There are masses of little squares, old buildings and interesting things to find hidden behind the main roads just waiting to be discovered. If something like this takes place again, make sure you give it a go AND tell everyone you know about it so that they can enjoy it as well.
We Treated Ourselves!
We had such fun finding the Paddington’s with Snaggles that a final trip was made to Selfridges to purchase one of the Limited edition Bears as a memory and also a contribution to the NSPCC funds. Our bear is shown in all his red glory below.
He will be a treasured reminder of a great event and also of the patience and politeness of everyone taking pictures with their children, friends or mascots. We found people were really interested to learn that Snaggles had been adopted by Sutton District Scouts for the 100 years of Cub Scouting in 2016 and also how long Cub Scouts had existed.
The trail officially closes on the 30th December 2014. Details are at http://www.visitlondon.com/paddington/
Some of the Paddington’s have already been auctioned off and will be on thier way to new homes soon after whilst the remainder are up for auction with bids closing on the 7th January 2015. You can watch the prices offered for some of your favourite bears with the link here.
How many bears have we seen now?
How many Paddington’s did we not see?
How many were part of the original / main trail?
Can you beat the number we found?
Which one do you like best? Let us know about the ones you have seen.
Can you find out the “official” name for each of the Paddington sculptures.
A number of the “Paddingtons” are one off specials (such as the one jumping out of a sack in Covent Garden); how many can you find in the photos?
Last updated 28 December 2014